World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Administrator of the Government

Article Id: WHEBN0000242650
Reproduction Date:

Title: Administrator of the Government  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Governor, John Charles Stetson, Octavius Temple, War/Featured article/17, Frederick William Richard Fryer
Collection: Governance of the British Empire, Government of Australia, Government of New Zealand, Gubernatorial Titles
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Administrator of the Government

An Administrator (Administrator of the Government, Officer Administering the Government) in the constitutional practice of some countries in the Commonwealth is a person who fulfils a role similar to that of a Governor or a Governor-General.


  • Temporary administrators 1
    • Canada 1.1
    • Australia 1.2
    • New Zealand 1.3
    • Papua-New Guinea 1.4
    • Hong Kong 1.5
    • Rhodesia 1.6
  • Permanent Administrators 2
    • United Kingdom overseas possessions 2.1
    • Australia 2.2
    • New Zealand 2.3
  • Other 3
    • United States 3.1
  • Sources and references 4
  • Notes 5

Temporary administrators

Usually, the office of administrator is a temporary appointment, for periods during which the governor is incapacitated, outside the territory, or otherwise unable to perform his/her duties. The process for selecting Administrators varies from country to country.


The Administrator is usually the Chief Justice of Canada. In the absence of the Chief Justice the senior puisne judge of the Supreme Court of Canada is appointed. Administrators can also be appointed to the Canadian provinces to perform the duties of the Lieutenant Governor, in which case a justice of a provincial superior court is appointed.

In Yukon the position of Administrator is a political appointment corresponding roughly to that of "deputy commissioner".[1]


In the Commonwealth of Australia, the Administrator is usually called the Administrator of the Commonwealth. State Governors hold a dormant commission and by convention the longest-serving state Governor becomes Administrator.

In the states of Australia, the Administrator is usually the Chief Justice of the state's Supreme Court or the next most senior justice. In 2001, the Constitution of Queensland was amended to restore the office of Lieutenant-Governor in that state. Links:

  • Governor-General of Australia
    • Role of the Administrator at the Governor-General of Australia site

New Zealand

Under letters patent issued in 1983 and revised in 2006, the Chief Justice of New Zealand will be Administrator, followed by the other Judges of the New Zealand judiciary in order of seniority.


  • Governor-General of New Zealand
  • Administrators of the Government at the Governor-General of New Zealand site
  • Patent Constituting the Office of Governor -General of New Zealand

Papua-New Guinea

As a former External Territory of Australia, the head of the Territory's administration was called the Administrator of Papua-New Guinea before independence in 1975. The appointment was by the Governor-General of Australia on the advice of the Australian Minister of External Territories. The Minister for External Territories consulted with the territory's Chief Minister as part of the appointment process.

Hong Kong

When Hong Kong was a British Crown colony the Chief Secretary (Colonial Secretary before 1976) would be the Acting Governor, followed by the Financial Secretary and the Attorney General. The practice has remained after the transfer of sovereignty to China. Rotation takes place between the Chief Secretary for Administration (formerly Chief Secretary), the Financial Secretary and the Secretary for Justice (formerly Attorney General) as the Acting chief executive.


When the self-governing colony of Rhodesia unilaterally declared independence from the United Kingdom in 1965, the Government of Prime Minister Ian Smith ignored the Governor of Rhodesia, Sir Humphrey Gibbs, and instead appointed Deputy Prime Minister Clifford Dupont as Officer Administering the Government. Dupont remained administrator until 1970, when Rhodesia was declared a Republic, after which Dupont became President of Rhodesia. The country renamed itself Zimbabwe Rhodesia in 1979, returned to colonial status following the Lancaster House Agreement later that year, and achieved independence deemed acceptable by the international community in 1980, when it was granted independence by Britain under the name Zimbabwe.

Permanent Administrators

The term Administrator is also used for a permanent officer representing the Sovereign where the appointment of a Governor would be inappropriate; it is also used for the representative of a Governor.

United Kingdom overseas possessions

  • The civil Administrator Akrotiri and Dhekelia Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus is traditionally the military Commander of British Forces in the areas.
  • The Administrator of the British Indian Ocean Territory is the junior to a Commissioner (Chagos Archipelago, notably Diego Garcia. He mandates the Commander of British Naval forces on Diego Garcia as his representative and Justice of the Peace, alongside the American Commander US Navy Facility Diego Garcia
  • The two dependencies of Saint Helena, both sparsely populated Atlantic islands, are responsible in the first instance to the Governor of St Helena :


There is no administrator in the Australian Capital Territory and the Chief Minister is elected by the Legislative Assembly.

New Zealand


United States

In the United States, the rank of Administrator denotes a high level civilian official within the United States federal government. An official of sub-Cabinet rank, Administrators are appointed by the President of the United States with the consent of the United States Senate and are assigned to run a specific US government agency. Administrators often manage major agencies housed within specific Cabinet Departments (e.g., Research and Innovative Technology Administration within the United States Department of Transportation) while others are stand-alone agencies (e.g., the United States Environmental Protection Agency).

Sources and references

  • WorldStatesmen click on the present state


  1. ^ "Choice of Next Commissioner Praised." Chuck Tobin, the Whitehorse Star, 1 December 2010. Accessed 1 March 2011.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.